[Tagging] More human readable values for traffic signs

Gerd Petermann GPetermann_muenchen at hotmail.com
Fri Oct 30 07:34:04 UTC 2015

reg. decisions (off topic):

I losely follow this list since years without contributing.

My understanding of it (the tagging list) so far :

It helps to collect different views, that's great, and that's why we need it.

It cannot help much finding decisions, as it only represents a few

(hopefully) actvice and experienced mappers, not the vast majority of


I guess the "decision" happens when the wiki pages or

OSM editors (the tools) are changed to supoort or discourage special tags.

So, it is again up to a few people, at least for those tagging issues for objects which

are rare, like my weighbridge question.

Von: Colin Smale <colin.smale at xs4all.nl>
Gesendet: Freitag, 30. Oktober 2015 01:15
An: tagging at openstreetmap.org
Betreff: Re: [Tagging] More human readable values for traffic signs

Ok, I'm impressed...

Can you give some examples of the "tagfiddling" you refer to, that annoys you? How do we fix that?

What tires me, is the lack of any decision-making process which is paralysing the whole business, and the lack of any (formal) attention for the data quality. Where is the (qualified) voice of data architectures, ontologies, data modelling, future-proofing, etc etc? All the energy spent on these mailing lists debating what are sometimes almost trivial issues could better be spent powering a large town. Some kind of "poster on the wall", an information framework, a metamodel, a data architecture, a governance model etc etc might allow some of this energy to be directed at more productive things that will enable real progress and growth, like 3D, data lifecycle, multi-valued and complex-valued attributes, and how (process-wise) to clean up and refactor "legacy" tagging (to name but a few of the many things that IMHO "need attention").


On 2015-10-29 23:18, Richard Fairhurst wrote:

On 29/10/2015 21:52, Colin Smale wrote:
I don't have any examples to counter your statement. But I am assuming
you are referring to the use of a spatial database.  It is IMHO a high
barrier to entry. Are we to expect users to have that kind of
infrastructure and skills at their disposal? What about mkgmap and the
many other consumers which simply work with a snapshot in PBF or XML and
need to be able to do the right thing with the data with lets say a dual
core and 8GB.

Indeed. It's very possible to "do the right thing" by running spatial queries on the data, without a spatial database, working directly on a PBF snapshot, and running lightning fast in just a few GB of memory and on a desktop-class machine.

I can confirm this because I've done exactly that, in a tool which I'm delighted to see is proving popular: https://github.com/systemed/tilemaker, and in particular, https://github.com/systemed/tilemaker/blob/master/CONFIGURATION.md#lua-spatial-queries .

systemed/tilemaker ยท GitHub
README.md Tilemaker. Tilemaker creates vector tiles (in Mapbox Vector Tile format) from an .osm.pbf planet extract, as typically downloaded from providers like Geofabrik.
Weitere Informationen...<https://github.com/systemed/tilemaker>

That aside, even if you accept that the interests of the data consumer are paramount - which, as a data consumer, I don't, and I'm rather tired of tagfiddlers without development knowledge second-guessing what developers might need - the number of consumers to whom it's important to differentiate (say) UK and French no entry signs is an 0.001% edge case, not one worthy of defining the entire tagging model.

You could just as well argue that you're penalising the little guy by preventing him from searching simply for "traffic_sign=no_entry" and making him search either for 193 country-specific values, or run one full-text query. Given your concern about doing things "very cheaply", I'm pretty sure more people have a spatial index on OSM data than have a full-text index.

But let's remind ourselves of Mateusz's original posting:

I recently started tagging traffic signs and I am surprised by wide
usage country-specific traffic sign codes.

I think that at least common signs may be tagged by human-readable



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